Dr. Kristin Samuelson joined the UCCS Psychology Department in Fall of 2015. She was previously a Professor at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco, California, where she served on the core faculty since 2004. She was also a Research Psychologist in the Stress and Health Research Program at the San Francisco VA Medical Center from 2001 to 2015, and continues to maintain collaborations with researchers there following her move to Colorado Springs. Dr. Samuelson earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia in 1998 and completed her internship at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University/Children's Health Council and her postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Child Psychiatry at Stanford University.
Postdoctoral Training, Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Virginia
MEd, Educational Psychology & School Psychology, University of Virginia
BS, Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University
Areas of Interest
My research has specialized in the field of trauma psychology since 2001, with much of my work surrounding neuropsychological functioning in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). My early work documented neuropsychological deficits in adults and children with PTSD, and my more recent work involves the development and testing of interventions targeting neurocognitive processes. In addition, I am interested in the disconnect between a patient’s appraisals of his or her cognitive deficits when compared to objective neurocognitive performance. I have expanded my work on neuropsychological functioning and PTSD to involve the comorbid diagnoses of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and chronic pain. We are currently developing a web-based training program for primary care providers in the assessment and management of mTBI.
I am particularly interested in the notion of cognitive resilience – the building of cognitive skills to both buffer and protect against the effects of stress and trauma. My students and I developed a cognitive resilience program entitled Integrated Brain-Body Training (IBBT) and are partnering with the Colorado Springs Police Department to implement it in their training academy.
My lab members are broadly interested in neurocognitive markers that underlie trauma symptoms and recovery processes. For example, lab members examine the role of psychological flexibility in complex PTSD, the role of executive functioning in risk taking behavior in PTSD, and the relationship between the trauma memory narrative and generalized neuropsychological functioning. The ultimate goal is to develop adjunctive or precursor interventions to support recovery via evidence-based interventions for PTSD.
Dr. Samuelson teaches undergraduate psychology courses and graduate courses in trauma psychology and clinical psychology.
PSY 4280 Seminar in Abnormal Psychology (Trauma)
PSY 6160 Trauma Psychology I
PSY 6170 Trauma Psychology II
PSY 6630 Clinical Trauma Psychology I
PSY 6740 Clinical Practicum (VHTC)
PSY 6850 Clinical Interviewing and Personality Assessment
Jordan, J., Samuelson, K., & Tiet, Q. (2018). Impulsivity, painful and provocative events, and acquired capability: Testing the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. doi: 10.111/sltb.12518
Samuelson, K.W., Abadjian, L., Jordan, J.*, Bartel, A.*, Vasterling, J., & Seal, K. (2017). The association between PTSD and functional outcomes is mediated by perception of cognitive problems rather than objective neuropsychological test performance. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 30. 521-530. doi: 10.1002/jts.22223
Wilson, C., Padron, E., & Samuelson, K.W., (2017). Trauma type and PTSD as predictors of parenting stress in trauma-exposed mothers. Violence and Victims, 32 (1), 141-158. https://doi.org/10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-13-00077
Samuelson, K., Bartel, A.*, Valadez, R.*, & Jordan, J.* (2016). PTSD symptoms and perception of cognitive problems: The roles of posttraumatic cognitions and coping self-efficacy. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/tra0000210.
Samuelson, K.W, Wilson, C., Lee, S., Padron, E, & Gavron, L.* (2016). Maternal PTSD and children’s functioning: Parenting stress and emotional availability as proposed mediators. Journal of Clinical Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/jclp.22369.
Krauss, L.*, Wilson, C., Padron, E., & Samuelson, K.W. (2016). Maternal trauma and children’s functioning: The role of kinship social support. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, Special Issue: Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma and Family Issues, 25(4), 421-435. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10926771.2016.1145161.
Seal, K., Bertenthal, D., Samuelson, K.W., Maguen, S., Kumar, S., & Vasterling, J. (2016). Association between mild traumatic brain injury and mental health problems and self-reported cognitive dysfunction in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 53(2), 185-198. http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2014.12.0301.
Jordan, J.*, & Samuelson, K.W. (2015). Predicting suicidal intent: The roles of experiencing or committing violent acts. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, DOI: 10.1111/sltb.12193. DOI: 10.1111/sltb.12193.
Samuelson, K.W., Koenig, C., McCamish, N., Choucroun, G., Tarasovsky, G., Bertenthal, D., & Seal, K. (2014). Web-based PTSD training for primary care providers: a pilot study. Psychological Services, 23, 1541-1559.
O'Donovan, A., Chao, L., Paulson, J., Samuelson, K.W., Shigenaga, J.K., Grunfeld, C., Weiner, M., & Neylan, T. (2015). Elevated inflammation is associated with reduced hippocampal volume but not posttraumatic stress disorder status in Gulf War Veterans. Psych neuroendocrinology, 51, 557-566.
Chao, L., Neylan, T., Samuelson, K.W., & Yaffe, K. (2014). Hippocampal volume is inversely related to PTSD duration. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 222, 119-123.
Cohen, B., Neylan, T., Barnes, D., Samuelson, K.W., Li, Y., & Yaffe, K. (2014). PTSD and cognitive function: Findings from the Mind Your Heart Study. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 74, 1063-1070.
Samuelson, K.W., Wilson, C., & Krueger, C. (2012). Relationships between maternal emotion regulation, parenting, and children's executive functioning in families exposed to intimate partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27(17), 3532-50.
Samuelson, K.W. (2011). PTSD and declarative memory functioning: A review. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 13, 346-351.
Cardenas-Nicolson, V., Samuelson, K.W, Lenoci, M., Studholme, C., Neylan, T., Marmar, C., Schuff, N., & Weiner, M. (2011). Changes in brain anatomy during the course of PTSD. Psychiatry Research, 193, 93-100.
Samuelson, K.W., Krueger, C., Burnett, C*, & Wilson, C. (2010). Neuropsychological functioning in children with posttraumatic stress disorder. Child Neuropsychology, 16(2), 119-133.
Samuelson, K.W., Neylan, T., Lenoci, M., Metzler, T., Cardenas, V., Weiner, M., & Marmar, C. (2009). Longitudinal effects of PTSD on memory functioning. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 15, 853-861.
Zucker, T., Samuelson, K.W., Greenberg, M., & Gevirtz, R. (2009). The effects of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) biofeedback on the symptomatology of posttraumatic stress disorder. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 34, 135-145.
Samuelson, K.W., & Cashman, C. (2008). Effects of intimate partner violence and maternal posttraumatic stress symptoms on children's emotional and behavioral functioning. Journal of Emotional Abuse: Special Issue on Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence, 8 (1/2), 139-153.
Samuelson, K.W., Neylan, T., Metzler, T., Lenoci, M., Rothlind, J., Henn-Haase, C., Choucroun, G., Weiner, M., & Marmar, C. (2006). Neuropsychological functioning in posttraumatic stress disorder and alcohol abuse, Neuropsychology, 20, 716-726.
American Psychological Association, Divisions 40, 53, and 56
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Volunteer & Service
Pro bono evaluator for torture survivors seeking political asylum, Physicians for Human Rights
Representative & Recent Service/Leadership Roles
UCCS Psychology Department Associate Director of Clinical Training (2017-present)
Psychologist, State of California